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Ecological and efficient bio-catalysis, without metals

The Instituto de Química Avanzada de Catalunya of the CSIC, the Technische Universität Darmstadt and the Spanish company Sustainable Momentum have developed and patented a selective biocatalyst, which is efficient and ecologic. It enables the synthesis of organic molecules copying natural processes and avoiding the use of like-palladium metals.

Structure of the new biocatalyst.Many living organisms have evolved having enzymes to synthesize molecules using carbon-carbon bonds, which are common for most of the naturally ocurring organic molecules.

Using Carbon-Carbon (or C-C) bond, complex molecules can be obtained  from simple ones. It is, as a matter of fact, what nature does. Plants use CO2 and light to bio synthesize sugar through C-C bonds (photosynthesis), in order to obtain energy and to grow. Also microorganisms, which feed on organic matter, break the C-C bonds of bigger molecules for, afterwards, synthesize new molecules according to their metabolic needs and using C-C bonds.

Scientists at the Instituto de Química Avanzada de Catalunya of the CSIC, the Technische Universität Darmstadt and the Spanish company Sustainable Momentum have developed a modified biocatalyst, which imitates nature reactions and enables the synthesis of complex organic molecules from smaller and simpler molecules. The development has been done within the project CarbaZymes, funded by the European Union in the frame of the Horizon 2020 program.  

The new biocatalyst is selective and ecologically friendly as it doesn’t require the use of heavy metals, which in turns reduces the energy consumption  by avoiding additional processes for cleaning up heavy metals from waste.

Another advantage is a high productivity (more than 100 grams daily per one liter reactor, in some processes), higher than other biocatalysts. This, together with less energy consumption makes this biocatalyst an economically efficient alternative. It can be used to obtain different products, from commodities, which are produced in high quantities, to high valued chemical products. Also, the biocatalyst in combination with transaminases enables a highly selective industrial production of amino acids.

Contact:

Isabel Masip
Instituto de Química Avanzada de
Cataluña (IQAC)
Vicepresidencia Adjunta
de Transferencia del Conocimiento- CSIC
Tel.: + 34 – 93 400 61 00
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Instituto de Química Avanzada de Catalunya of the CSIC, the Technische Universität Darmstadt and the Spanish company Sustainable Momentum have developed and patented a selective biocatalyst, which is efficient and ecologic. It enables the synthesis of organic molecules copying natural processes and avoiding the use of like-palladium metals.